Don't Let Retraction Distract From The Simple Fact: GOP Copyright Policy Brief Was Brilliant
from the don't-forget-it dept
While there’s been plenty of attention paid over the weekend to the fact that the Republican Study Committee (RSC), the conservative caucus of House Republicans, pulled its report on copyright reform after some entertainment industry lobbyists hit the phones/emails late Friday/early Saturday (and, no, it wasn’t directly to RSC, for the most part, but to “friendly” members asking them to express their “displeasure” with the report to the RSC leadership). But we shouldn’t let that distract from the simple fact that the report was brilliant — perhaps the most insightful and thoughtful piece of scholarship on copyright to come out of a government body in decades. You can still read the whole thing as uploaded to Archive.org.
Some people have set up a petition at Change.org asking the RSC to republish and stand behind the policy brief. Others are saying you should contact your own Representatives directly and ask them to support the report. For example, Dave Weinberger wrote a wonderful letter to his own Representative, telling him that he should take a look at the report, and that he should use it as a starting point “for a conversation this country very much needs.”
It seems unlikely that the RSC will bring it back, despite the quality of the report. But one hopes that the massive outpouring of support (seriously, just check Twitter) will lead politicians from both parties to recognize that sensible and smart copyright reform is a topic that gets people excited — and one thing they’re sick of is decades of both parties simply falling all over themselves to distort copyright to favor a few dominant Hollywood players.
Because the GOP has chickened out, we’re going to try to do a series of posts analyzing the various aspects of the report, starting with the three myths about copyright it debunks, followed by four policy recommendations, to see if we can further the discussion. Look for those posts in the coming days and weeks.